I STILL Do Things (damn it!)

I’m back in the saddle again

Wake up your neighbors, lock up your children, dress up your cats, and start frying the bacon.

JD IS BACK (and better than ever? YES, duh!).

Phew. So, how do you blog again? I know it has something to do with words and pictures.

Deep-fried Twinkie

There! Am I done? Geez, that was easy. Why the huge delay? Except it literally took me 10 minutes to remember how to insert a picture.

Yeah. It’s been a while. And yeah, I, too, am damn sick of looking at that same fireman post. MOVE IT, fireman post!

I appreciate the thousands of cards and letters and gifts of cash that came streaming in mere hours after my last post. I shan’t bore you with the details of my absence . . . or shall I? No, I shan’t. Mostly because I love saying “shan’t.”

Let’s go back in time, shan’t we? (Doesn’t work — ed.) To an almost interminable (for you) three months and 11 days ago:

OCTOBER 17, 2010

At the time, I didn’t realize it would be my last post of the year. I also didn’t realize I’d get 92 comments on that post — most of them bitching about where was I and why wasn’t I doing things? No worries, I thought. I was sure I’d post again . . . any day now!

Every now and then, I’d peer into my drafts folder for inspiration. Ooh! Here’s “Ideas for Return Post.” Bingo how fun! I knew it would be jam-packed with funny and cute and sparkling gems and bon mots and such. Here’s a screen-shot:

No, you’re not blind. There’s nothing there. Why I felt the need to save a draft post filled with pure emptiness is a question for larger brains than mine.

Oh but then OK! I found “Ideas for NEXT Post.” Whew, this is it. Anticipatingly(?), I opened it to find an array of one-line ideas for posts:

  • I can’t find that one gray shirt (insert photo of other gray shirts)
  • I have a superefficient method for storing cords (photo of tangled cords in basket)
  • I hog all the dressing (photo of tiny amount of dressing I left for Dave. Dressing vs. stuffing?)

. . . ?

After a while, I was afraid to even go to my site, for fear I’d see something like this:

Time passed. My brain grew emptier. Even my Facebook updates were lame:

Julia DeGraf is thankful she didn’t throw up in a hot yoga class of 50-plus.

Hahahahahahaha . . . ha . . . ha . . . no.

But comments and e-mails continued to roll in, like this comment on my Mad Cow post:

hey b**ch mad cow disease aint funny people die from it b**ch i hope for all you do get the disease you stupid uneducated sl*t

to which I gleefully responded:

The very fact that you are unable to see the humor in Mad Cow Disease is clear evidence that you, in fact, suffer from Mad Cow Disease.

Then there was this perfectly reasonable e-mail from a disgruntled Kindle user:

I love your blog, but I’ve had to drop it from my Kindle since you haven’t posted anything new since October! Even a dollar a month is too much to pay for nothing. Hope you start posting again, soon.

to which I gleefully responded:

The very fact that you would even pay a dollar a month to read my blog is clear evidence that you, in fact, suffer from Mad Cow Disease.

NO! Kindle users, please come back! Those dollars pay for my much-needed sushi! I love you — I love you all!

And I’m sorry.

Sorry for not being here to do things so you don’t have to.

Some of my Facebook friends (who apparently weren’t completely repulsed by my lame status updates) came to my rescue with suggestions of things I could do: Eat some mealworms! Go into outerspace! Learn German! Pee your pants during Laughter Yoga! (done, only it was Bikram yoga), Skydive! Ride a motorcycle! Interview a clown (aw hell no). Eat crickets! Eat by yourself! EAT A DONUT CHEESEBURGER!

Whether or not I will do any of these things remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that I will continue to do things.


Glorious, stupid, frantic, sizzling THINGS!

Wondrous, magical, fantabulous, cray-zay things, the nature of which . . .

OK, I’m probably just gonna write about that time I ate a deep-fried Twinkie.

But admit it: You’re glad I did it, aren’t you?


I Was Saved By Firemen

You’re poison runnin’ through my veins

So I just discovered that there’s this thing called an “alarm” and it gets you out of bed!

Oh, STOOPID JD, I can hear you yell. Everyone knows that an alarm clock will wake you up.

Well, who’s stoopid now because it was NOT an alarm clock that got my lazy ass out of bed. It was a much more exciting method, one I will share with you now.

Wake Up the JD Way

Buy a carbon monoxide monitor and hang it on the ceiling in your hallway. Right outside your bedroom door.

Wait. Two years if necessary.

Finally, you will be rewarded with a strident chirp-chirp-chirp that will guarantee you wake up, most likely in a cold sweat as you try to figure out whether or not you’re dead from the fumes that must be filling the air or why would the damn monitor go off???

Ugh. The carbon monoxide monitor. We have two, and the basement one started chirping a few weeks ago. In my frustration, I simply opened all the windows and ripped it out of the wall.

Then the upstairs one started in. You might be wondering why I wasn’t worried about CO poisoning. Well, the cats were fine. Isn’t that how it works? If the small mammals don’t keel over, the larger ones are probably OK?

Also, we didn’t have the furnace on, so where was the source? After replacing the batteries, Dave actually took the damn monitor OUTSIDE, where it continued to chirp.

Finally, we just screwed it back in place and figured when it came time to turn on the heat, we’d have our answer.

But our answer came sooner than planned.

When the monitor went off at 4:30 AM, I, of course, pretended not to hear it. But once Dave was up, turning on all the lights and swearing loudly, it was hard to pretend to be asleep. But I did anyway. Only when I heard him calling the fire department did I bolt upright.

Because . . .

FIRE TRUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was like Christmas! I leapt out of bed and ran to the chimney . . . er, front window. Soon I was rewarded with the sight of the BIG kind of fire truck pulling up in front of our house. I was jumping up and down with excitement and terror and possible carbon monoxide poisoning. I even unwrapped Prudence from her burrito blanket so she could see, but she took off downstairs with Gus right behind her.

(Why didn’t I take any pictures? Because it was dark outside, and I may have had carbon monoxide poisoning.)

Three (3!) firemen came up the walk. I had begged Dave to lock the door so they would have to break it down with an ax, but he stubbornly refused.

Hmmm. None of them were cute. And they smelled. Not like fire and danger and chili but like stale clothes and morning breath. My fantasy was quickly deflating.

How It Went

Three boring firemen who stank walked around our house, looked at our monitor, and determined we had no levels of CO. Just a faulty device.

How It Should’ve Gone

Three hot and hunky firemen (think Jon Hamm, Gerard Butler, and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn) break down our door and storm into our house. One of them (preferably Aragorn) scoops me up and carries me outside to safety. Thank god I’m wearing my flattering sweatpants! Dave is somehow absent from this version. Anyway, then all the neighbors come out to see what’s going on and bring me juice.

“MY CATS!” I scream before fainting. Then I wake up and stagger bravely to what used to be my front door but is now a shambles of broken wood and twisted metal.

“Ma’am, you’d better stay outside.” Except, wait, they don’t call me “Ma’am.”

“Miss, you’d better stay outside. We’ll find your cats.”

And they do! Is there a more rewarding sight than a fireman carrying a cat? Especially one that’s wrapped like a burrito? While Aragorn and Gerard Butler battle the CO poisoning or whatever, Jon Hamm lets me wear his fireman hat and gives me a ride in the truck, while my neighbors look on in envy.

The house is declared uninhabitable and I get to go live at the firehouse and slide up and down the pole all day. And yes, that IS a double entendre.

And, so, my friends, that is what you do in case of carbon monoxide poisoning.

*        *       *

But wait! This isn’t the only fireman-related story I have to share. The other one has even MORE firemen, MORE juice, and LESS flattering sweatpants! And photos! But you’ll just have to be patient.


Fireman came from here


Hey, everyone! It’s regular ol’ JD here. No, sorry, I do NOT know where Dr. JD or Professor JD are right now. You’re stuck with me.

It gets worse.

You’re also stuck with an old post, because the only things I’ve been doing lately are:

  • Bikram yoga
  • rehydrating
  • Wrapping Prudence up like a burrito (she likes it!)
  • Working
  • Wrapping myself up like a burrito because even tho it’s 80 degrees outside, regular ol’ JD is FREEZING, y’all!

Nothing really worth writing about, you see.

So please enjoy or ignore this post from the salad days of my blog. It may be over 3 years old, but I believe its message is as relevant today as it was way back then.


Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go


We Need, Commas.

There used to be a small grocery store in Evanston I walked by just to look at the display of giant turtles. You know, those slabs of chocolate and caramel and pecans too delicious to need a particular shape. These were especially huge—as big as a baby’s head and twice as scrumptious. In my heart, I knew I could eat five. But the handwritten sign under the display was unclear.

“Try one big mama.”

Now, are they saying that the turtles are big mamas and that you, the customer, should try one? Like, “Try one big mama and you will die of pleasure”? And did this mean I couldn’t eat five after all? In my confusion, my appetite disappeared, and I walked on.

A week or so later, I passed the store again, and the sign had mysteriously changed. Now it read

“Try one, big mama.”

Oho! So now I, the prospective customer, am the big mama, in which case, maybe I don’t exactly need to be eating giant chocolate slabs. Far too sensitive to admit to being a big mama, I once again passed up the delectable treats.

But my curiosity and chocolate craving brought me back. Again! The sign had changed!

“Try a big mama.”

OK, so now I’m fairly confident that the turtles are, indeed, the big mamas, not me. The next step: to actually go into the store and ask for a big mama. But what if I was wrong? Could I trust the sign after all these changes? Could I trust a vendor with such a shaky understanding of the all-important comma? I thought it safer to wait and see if the sign underwent any more changes, possibly the addition of an exclamation point.

The next time I passed the store, the “big mama” sign was gone and the chocolate slabs were replaced with fruit.

I hate fruit.

If you want to punctuate things:
If you want to skip the boring grammar lesson and join the Big Mama Club:


Delicious turtles came from here


And the worms ate into his Head (brain)

Hello, and welcome to yet another (FREE!) installation of Dr. JD diagnoses and cures the sickly people of the Internet!

My esteemed colleague Professor JD recently took the blogosphere by storm when she appeared over at Cardiogirl’s VIP Lounge to help a bunch of people with their inane questions. Dr. JD was not at all miffed that SHE wasn’t invited. After all, she has her own forum right here. Harumph.

Dr. JD approves of this practice. It is unwise to deal with the full-fledged stench of two whole armpits at once, therefore, one armpit = half the stench. But Dr. JD is curious. Why exactly do you need to know what you would have smelled like? I can pretty much guarantee you, it would have been bad. Spaghettios-bad.

Er, perhaps you should start using deodorant under both arms. Also, potato chips? This is a new one. Dr. JD has heard of chicken soup, Spaghettios, and even that bacon mayonnaise everyone’s talking about. Potato chips? Huh.

Dr. JD does not know where one might find such videos. Honest. Never has Dr. JD EVER been the least bit tempted to seek out bunion fetish videos. Or (shudder) toe corn videos. Now, if you’re talking about hammertoe fetish videos, Dr. JD is all ears. Like, seriously. Send links. And screencaps.

Are you a female? A drag queen? A hermaphrodite? There are many reasons a person is minus a bulge. Perhaps you’re a man with a pathetically small penis. If that’s the case, well, not even Dr. JD can help you.

First off, do you have a bulge? I would imagine a six-foot male would have a fairly decent bulge. And you know what they say: the bigger the bulge, the longer the intestine. Dr. JD is not sure “they” say that, but it sounds about right. So to answer your question, yes.

Look, Dr. JD is sick and tired of all the queries about colonoscopy-as-weight-loss tool. And don’t try to get all sly about it either. You will neither lose nor loose weight after a colonoscopy. Unless . . .

Sigh. You are not supposed to drink the shitting water. That’s what you flush down the toilet. Are you drinking the shitting water in an attempt to lose or loose weight? Because if you are, Dr. JD guarantees instant weight loss due to the intense vomiting that will occur after drinking the shitting water.

Because you drank the shitting water, duh.

For crying out loud, will you people leave your penises alone? The gristle part is not supposed to be removed. If you keep pulling random gristle out of “spots” on your penis, you’re not going to have a bulge. You DO want a good bulge, don’t you?

Uh huh. You pulled too much gristle out of there, didn’t you? You have only yourself to blame.

Dear god, I hope you’re not talking about the penis whole that appeared after you pulled out all the gristle causing the purple lump to burst. That’s the wrong whole! Don’t put it in there!

Thank you for clarifying that you are referring to the brain part of the “Head” as opposed to, say, the nasal cavity or the eyeball socket. Worms in the Head (brain) are very rare and you wouldn’t know you had them until you were dead. Dead men tell no tales, so I guess no one would know if you had Head Worms. How exactly do you think you contracted these worms?

Aha. Yes. Raw Poptarts are the number-one cause of Head Worms in the US. Everyone knows an uncooked Poptart not only tastes nasty but will give you an instant case of Head Worms. And please don’t give me the tired excuse that you don’t have a toaster. JD’s robot husband simply puts his under the broiler. (The cause of his Head Worms is none of your business.)

You can never truly get the smell of suffer off your hair. Once the hair has been through trauma, the smell of suffer lingers, often for years.

You’re welcome. And no, it was not a pretty thing to see, nor was it a pretty thing to smell. But it was better than the smell of suffer.

Well, it’s horrible dead skin, isn’t it? Really, there is no need to bother Dr. JD with questions you’ve already answered yourself.

Dr. JD tries to avoid dealing with elderly patients. Come on, they are almost always querulous and crabby. Who needs that? There is not much you can do with your stubborn old mother, altho you might try asking her why the hell she’s wearing a colonoscopy bag in the first place. You don’t need a bag! The shitting water goes straight down the toilet! Geez! Old people!


The answer is an emphatic YES but only if you tend to use a concrete block for a pillow and begin your sleep routine by slamming your head onto it.

Well, you obviously slammed too hard. Try switching to something less pointy.

That was no dream. That was Dr. JD, trying out a new procedure. Your friend will thank me . . . some day. Also, remind her to buy some more mustard.

Well, perhaps it’s because you’ve got a bunch of hotdogs shoved up in there. Dr. JD recommends a colonoscopy (NOT a colonoscopy bag) and plenty of shitting water.

That’s the spirit! Dr. JD likes porn too. Especially hammertoe porn.

Oh, yes! The ER nose snot story! Every doctor knows about that. Oh ho hohohohoho! It’s a good one, I tell you. HAW! Oh, dear (wipes tear from eye). Heh.

Aw, thanks, Mom.

*        *        *

Do YOU have a question for Dr. JD? Well, there’s no special treatment here. Google your question and pray you get lucky.


I Am Alive, Awake, and Scared

Why, even the muggers are off
The streets by eight

Oh, relax, y’all. I’m still alive. Bikram yoga hasn’t killed me yet, tho it is seriously cramping my style.

How so?

From the Bikram Web site:

You might find yourself feeling extremely energetic and experience difficulty sleeping. Don’t worry—you don’t have insomnia. You just have more time to do the things you enjoy.

OK yeah but see at night what I enjoy is sleeping. I don’t care to stay up late. Or get up early. There are plenty of hours in a day for me to do all the things I need to do. After my first yoga class I said cheerfully to myself, “I may have broken my torso, but I’ll sleep good tonight!” So imagine my distress when, at 2:25, I was wide awake, filled with useless, stupid energy.

And terror.

Because it’s 2:25. THE WITCHING HOUR! Look, I don’t really know when or even what The Witching Hour is, but when I was a kid (and, apparently, still), the scary hours of nighttime were between midnight and four AM. Right? I always felt like if I woke up after 4, yes, it was still dark, but nothing bad would happen. Too close to daylight. But 2:25? That’s killin’ time.

I blame my chiropractor for my increased night terrors. At every appointment we talk excitedly of our favorite horror movies, describing the scariest scenes, goriest murders, and most unnerving and disturbing moments. Last week he told me about an especially creepy Tales of the Crypt episode.

“Can I stay here today?” I asked in a quavering voice. The thought of returning to my empty house, probably now filled with paranormal entities and homicidal Santa Clauses, was unappealing to say the least.

Also not helping matters, I think we have a Blair Witch fan. The fan sits atop a wicker hamper, and every so often, I hear a crackling noise coming from its vicinity. The fan is obviously moving around on the hamper. No way am I going over there to check out the noise, but I have actually been brave enough to sit up in bed and look at it. Nothing. Then, when I lie back down and try to calm my breathing . . . “crackle crackle crackle.”


So I lie there, energized and terrified. It’s not a good combination. I could get up and watch TV, but what if that Tales of the Crypt episode is on EVERY CHANNEL? It could happen.

I finally felt my body start to relax around 4:05 AM. You know how as you’re falling into a light sleep, you get these bizarre thoughts that pop into your head? Thoughts that can sound like voices? Voices that are so real? And scary?

As I slipped into a troubled doze, a thought-voice whispered in my ear:

If you look over the fence, you can see they’re only cooking boys.

Yeah. I think I’ll just get up. I have things to do.


Bend it like Bikram

Picture it: You are in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Ahhh! Sounds like a pleasant sauna, right? Wrong. You cannot leave this room. Also? You will be forced to contort your body into unnatural poses as you struggle to grip slippery limbs and breathe through the huge sweat droplets clogging up your nose.

Not torture-y enough?

You are surrounded by buff young women.

Welcome to my Bikram yoga class!

Sometimes referred to as hot yoga, Bikram yoga is a NINETY-minute class in which human beings are expected to perform a series of 26 challenging poses in stifling heat.

I am proud and shocked to say I have put myself through two of these sessions already. It certainly wasn’t my idea. My Rolfing practitioner (more on him later) recommended it for my back. He said it would be an ideal way to decrease pain;  improve flexibility, mobility, stamina; and strenghten my pathetically weak core.

But I hate yoga! It hurts and there’s no cardio rush. Still, I had to try.

First Day

I was terrified. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I had a panic attack? What if I broke some sacred yoga rule? What if I broke an important bone?

I signed in, trying to explain to the lady at the desk that I, JD, was special.

“Um, I have scoliosis? And herniated discs?”

“Watch the forward bends,” she said dismissively.

Ooookay. People with scoliosis and herniated discs? Also watch the back bends. And side bends. And for god’s sake, just don’t even attempt the supta vajrasana. (UPDATE! After more than a few classes, I learned that back bends are actually really good for strengthening the spine and banishing pain. Sounds crazy, I know, but 50-plus classes later, I can tell you, it’s true.)

The Room

I was about 20 minutes early, so I decided to enter The Room and get used to the heat. Then I decided that was stupid, because heat is hot. The Room! It was so dreadfully hot I almost burst into tears, but I knew I’d be dehydrated soon enough.

Reluctantly, I went back in. I assured myself I’d get used to the stench of boiled sweat. I knew we weren’t supposed to talk in The Room. Not even to say, “Excuse me? I am dying. Please tell Gus and Pru I love them.” Also, when I said earlier that you’re not allowed to leave The Room? Not joking. If you’re feeling light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous, you are instructed to lie down on your mat.

Another first-timer came in after me. She looked at how we had our mats set up — all facing the same direction with our towels on top.

“We put the towels on our mats? We’re gonna sweat that much?” She was obviously unaware of the no talking rule.

I nodded miserably.

“Why is everyone so serious?” she asked a little louder. A sinewy woman in the front mimed “NO TALKING.”

I hung my head in despair.

Here comes the instructor. I was surprised to see that she didn’t actually do the poses. Instead, she called out the directions much like an auctioneer:

Head down, knees locked, knees locked, KNEES LOCKED, you’ve got it, you’re in it, the throat is crushed, there’s not much air, hold it, forehead to the knees, elbows up and away from the shoulders, away from the shoulders, hold it, hold it, hold it, lock the knees, lock the knees, LOCK THE KNEES, extend your fingers, charge your arms, keep going, keep going . . .

I was pleased to find I could at least do some of the poses for part of the time. The heat really does make it easier to bend and twist and stretch, even if you can’t really breathe so much. No one yelled at me or told me I was a fat idiot. But damn, the sweat. And the heat.

About 20 minutes in, the new woman in front of me tried to leave The Room. Uh oh. You could practically hear the “dink-dink-dink-dink” cartoon music accompanying her stealthy tiptoeing as she strained to be invisible.

“Where are you going?” The instructor sees all.

The woman skulked back to her mat.

“Please stay in the room. If you’re dizzy, lie down on your mat.”

Damn. There is truly no escape. I had plenty of lightheaded moments, and, surprisingly, sitting or lying on my mat and taking some deep breaths really did help. You feel like you’ve GOT TO GET OUT OF THAT ROOM, but, well, since you CAN’T, you just don’t. And you deal with it.

Ninety minutes later? I DID IT! True, I probably did about 40% of the work, but I hung in there and didn’t throw up. I was tired and shaky but mostly triumphant, and I felt fine once I’d pounded 2,000 gallons of water. Oh, and before the 2,000 gallons of water, I lost six pounds.

Second Day

I felt more confident going into my second class. Outside of The Room, I overheard a young woman mention that this was her first class. A newbie! And I, a wise old-timer, would take her under my sweaty wing.

“Today is only my second class,” I confided. “It’s easier when you know what to expect.”

“Oh, no, this is my first class OF THE DAY,” she clarified.

Ah, yes. Humility. That’s the other thing you learn.

*        *        *

So, have I convinced you to join a Bikram yoga class? Have I convinced you I’m craz-ay? Most important, if I die, will you tell Gus and Pru I love them?



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